You'll need the best weight bench if you want to bench press your way to barrel chested fitness. That said, you can do more than just bench press at home using a decent adjustable or flat weight bench and you definitely can't build the perfect home gym without including a quality weight bench. If you want to get fit at home, lifting weights, there are only a few more essential items than a weight bench you will need to snap up before you can get pumping iron.
Some weight benches are cheap while others are pretty expensive, but one thing is for sure: if you want to be on the safe side, we recommend getting yours as soon as you can, given recent availability issues. NOW is the time to start pumping iron, people!
Thinking about kitting out your home gym? Have a look at our best home gym equipment guide to get a feel for the market. You might need some weights too to workout on your new weight bench: all information on these can be found on T3's best dumbbell, best barbell, best weight plate and best kettlebell guides.
Before you go crazy and buy the most expensive (or the cheapest) weight bench, please read all about the 7 things to consider before buying a new weight bench for your home gym.
How to buy the best weight bench for home
Even the cheapest entry on this best weight bench guide is a better option than having to work out using two chairs pushed together. It's amazing what can be achieved with a good set of weights and even a cheap bench. We've included everything here from superb value offerings for those on a tight budget, to blow-out models with all the bells and whistles.
Home weight benches come in all shapes and sizes, with pricing typically reflecting the number of additional features and overall build quality.
Bargains can be found for around the $50 / £50 mark but these will be very simple affairs that usually consist of a flat padded cushion perched atop a pair of support legs.
Stability isn't going to be great here and a lack of adjustability limits the spread of exercises that can be performed, while those looking to lift really heavy metal could find cheaper variants a bit flimsy.
Spend a bit more and manufacturers will throw in added niceties, such as areas to stow weights when not in use, a rack that makes bench-pressing with a bar much easier and a good range of adjustability that opens up endless exercise possibilities.
So buyers should firstly bear in mind their needs, goals and experience level (are you an entry-level weight lifter or expert gunsmith?), as well as the amount of space available at home (a foldable option is great for smaller rooms) and budgets.
Iron-pumping newbies can probably afford to look at the lower end of the budget scale, as build quality; adjustability and additional flourishes are probably not too high on the agenda.
Those with more weight lifting experience, or who have previously frequented a gym, will want to part with slightly more cash in order to secure something that is fit for purpose and will last.
While we have you here, if you are thinking about buying some new weights, we can wholeheartedly recommend investing in adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells. These home weights were designed with small living spaces in mind and can provide a sense of progression without taking up a lot of space in your living room. For more information, check out these reviews: Men's Health Cast Iron Adjustable dumbbell review, Bowflex SelectTech 840 kettlebell review and Bowflex Selecttech 1090i dumbbell review. High-quality home weights for quality lifters.
The best weights benches for home, in order of preference
This chunky bench from Mirafit caught my eye because it offers gym-worthy build quality for under £100, considerably undercutting products from established players like Life Fitness and Technogym. Despite the reasonable asking price it still packs a solid frame, constructed from 7cm x 5cm steel tubing, which is 2mm thick throughout. It also boasts premium extras such as the small wheels at the back and grab handle at the front for easy manoeuvrability.
Better still, the user benefits from six backrest angles and four individual seat angles that allow a great selection of positions from which to perform gun-busting routines. However, there's no rack at this price point, so unless you add one the bench is more suitable for use with a dumbbell set, unless you have a particularly nice friend who is happy to grab the barbell from you after blasting your one rep max.
For those looking to stay trim, shape up and work on muscle definition, as opposed to bulking up, the Adidas Utility Bench is a perfect companion.
It can't quite cope with a huge amount of weight but the extra comfortable high-density foam padding and multitude of adjustable seating positions make it great for ab crunching and low weight decline dumbbell exercises.
A powder coated steel frame and heavy-duty rubber floor grips will ensure it stays in place, although a lack of wheels and folding mechanism means it will probably stay where you put it.
Featuring high density foam padding, the Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench is the perfect compliment for the Bowflex Selecttech modular dumbbells which you will most likely use for your free weight exercises. The selection knob lets you adjust between six positions for versatility, including 17° decline, flat, 30°. 45°, 60° and 90° incline.
Built to last long with heavy-duty commercial construction, the Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench has a very high 272 kg (600 lbs) load capacity. Even though this is a combined weight – so takes user weight into account – it's still not likely that you will need more capacity anytime soon.
The one button 'click, lift and go' process makes it very easy to stow the bench and save space when not in use. The additional transport castors mean the bench is easy to move around to different positions.
The Wolverson Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench does what it says on the box: it's an extremely capable heavy duty weight bench. The 350-kilo upper load limit means you can weight 100 kg and hold two 125 kg dumbbells in your hands and the bench would still not collapse under you.
This bench can not only hold a lot of weight but it can also be adjusted in 10 different positions (from -10 to 80 degrees) so you can attack the muscles from all the angles possible. The padding is plenty thick enough, as a matter of fact, it's three-times as thick as the foam on the Mirafit M2.
The anti-slip legs will prevent the bench from sliding around in the wrong moment but the transport wheels and handle will come in handy when it will actually needs to move. the only downside is that there is no weight rack included so this bench, much like the Mirafit M2, can only recommended for dumbbell/cable machine use.
For those who like want to improve their bench press at home, the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench is the ideal choice. This weight bench is as sturdy as it gets: the metal frame is constructed from extra heavy-duty steel and capable of holding 600 lbs worth of weight (including the user's weight).
As for comfort, the 2.5" thick foam that covers the bench is plenty deep and will make working out on this bench all the more relaxing (?). Not like you will relax all that much as there are a lot of ways to workout using the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench.
Although the 24 different barbell positions might sound excessive at first, having a second look at the frame makes it obvious that not all positions can be utilised properly, especially the lowest and highest ones. The weights rack without the bench is not sturdy enough to hold a barbell securely so you can't use the frame as a squat rack which would justify the existence of the higher positions.
Nevertheless, the Fitness Gear Pro Olympic Weight Bench will provide ample amount of flexibility for home workouts with a barbell or dumbbell.
Some people like to go all-out when specifying a home gym and there's a large part of us that doesn't blame them. It can be frustrating when you pinch the pennies and end up with a flimsy bench that can't keep up with the rate of progress being made on the weights front.
There's no such risk of that happening here, because this Life Fitness model is quite literally the same thing you'll find in commercial gyms and, as such, can cope with a hefty load before it gives in.
Six-way adjustability, ultra-cushioned pads and the sturdiest of steel frames make it the go-to model if you want serious reliability for a serious home set-up. For everyone else, it's probably slightly overkill.
Admittedly, not everyone needs the biggest weight bench for home workouts. For some, having a simple, flat weight bench at home is enough so they can do all the basic exercises, such as the bench press or triceps dips, without breaking the bank.
This doesn't mean the Weider Traditional Flat Bench is a flimsy piece of gym equipment. For example, it has a 460-pound total weight capacity which is more than enough for most exercise you can perform using it. Also, the sewn vinyl seat is sturdy and easy to clean making it easy to maintain a sanitary workout space.
Not to mention, this weight bench cost only $49. A real bargain.
You can always count on Decathlon when it comes to great value for money fitness equipment. And we don't mean 'cheap' or 'rubbish quality'. Domyos fitness equipment is usually decent and sought after, even in normal times, not just during lockdown when people would buy anything they can find online.
The Domyos 900 weight bench has seven different positions so you can attack the pecs and the shoulders with a variety of exercises and there is even a foot rest so you can do crunches. That said, since the legs are not too tall, tall people might find it uncomfortable to do sit ups on it. For everything else, it's perfect.
Men's Health is not only good for making chaps feel massively inadequate when perusing the magazine shelf in WH Smith, it is also a purveyor of some mighty fine home fitness equipment and this bench is testament to that.
Constructed from sturdy steel and many bolts, it looks pretty industrial, while the supplied pads are definitely not for the sensitive types out there. However, it does sport six adjustable positions, making at good companion for a serious set of dumbbells.
We found that some of the finishing to the steel feet is a little sharp, which makes folding the thing flat and rolling it away slight nerve-wracking. It doesn't help that it fails to stand against the wall on its end without being propped up by something.
Still, it will last for absolutely ages and it's a lot chunkier than anything else we found at this price point. A solid buy for solid bods.
Thinking of converting that small corner of garage into a personal gym zone? If yes, you're clearly pretty serious about this whole weight lifting biz, and this chunky unit from Marcy is just for you. With a hefty maximum load, its chunky steel frame and dense padding make it great for those looking to push themselves on to bigger and heavier reps.
Better still, it folds completely flat with the release of two clever pins at the front and rear of the unit, which drop the legs for super easy and convenient storage at home.
The back pad features and 'abdominal design', which is said to offer improved back support and grip, while extra large, foam-wrapped ankle and leg supports make those disgusting ab crunch exercises slightly more bearable.
No, this isn't some kind of Victorian sex contraption; it's an extremely versatile weights bench that's designed to give you a full body workout without having to invest in a more expensive and space-invading multi-gym.
The padded bench itself is only adjustable from flat to a pre-determined incline setting, which could be a bit of a pain, but there are plenty of additional niceties to keep workouts fresh.
A leg curl bar will happily take weight discs from any adjustable dumbbell set, as will the rudimentary butterfly bench press arms.
There's also a simple rack at the head of the bench that will house small barbells for a full on, chest-targeting bench press workout.
Granted, it's not designed to cope with masses of weight but if you've only got room for one thing in your house, this – with a barbell and some dumbbells – will deliver a pretty serious all-over workout for not much dosh.
Kettler is a brand that can be found in numerous commercial gyms and that's because it stands for top quality.
Those wanting to replicate the gym feeling at home need look no further, as this unit can handle up to 300kg thanks to its high quality, steel construction, while the adjustable twist grips offer a great spread of seat and backrest positions.
The unit itself has been optimised to play nicely with a number of Kettler add-ons, such as optional leg curl extensions and the Vector barbell rack that can be set up to the rear for gym-quality bench training.